Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have been booed on stage as Red Bull’s budget cap fiasco continues. The pair were interrupted by fans as they took part in an interview in a fan zone ahead of qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
One or two spectators began booing as the Red Bull drivers were introduced to the audience, but seconds later the rest of the crowd joined in. Fans could be heard yelling “cheaters, cheaters” at the two stars.
The incident comes after team boss Christian Horner warned of the damage that had been done to the team’s drivers since the saga began. Speaking at the press conference, Horner said: “We have been on trial due to public accusations from Singapore.
“The rhetoric of cheaters, the rhetoric that we’ve had this huge benefit. The numbers that have been put in the media are far from reality. The damage it does to the brand, to our partners, to our drivers, to our workforce in an age where mental health is prevalent.”
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Many social media users have even called for Max Verstappen to be stripped of his 2021 title since the breach came to light. This is unlikely as Red Bull did not exceed the five per cent threshold, which constitutes minor overspending.
But several drivers and team bosses have suggested that Verstappen should be protected from punishment even though he possibly benefits. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff even defended the Dutchman, admitting it was unrealistic to go back and change previous results.
He said La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The FIA must make the correct decision and the sanction must reflect the infringement. I don’t think you can get back to the 2021 world title. [for Verstappen] because with a minor infraction that, according to the rules, is not realistic. But it should be fairer and clearer in the future.”
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